Scope and Content

Household account books showing the weekly expenses of a group of workingclass mothers and housewives in Lambeth, London. Their names and addressesare given, and in some cases, information about their health and familycircumstances. This collection appears to be the raw data for Maud PemberReeves' Round about a Pound a Week. There are 58 account books in total.

Administrative / Biographical History

Magdalen Stuart Pember Reeves 1865 - 1953.

Maud Pember Reeves, the daughter of a bank manager, was born in Mudgee, NewSouth Wales, Australia. In her youth she was involved in a successfulcampaign to obtain the vote for women in New Zealand. She married thejournalist and politician William Pember Reeves (1857 - 1832) in New Zealandand came to London with him when he was appointed Agent General for the New Zealandgovernment. Soon after her arrival in London she became involved in a varietyof womens' organisations including the Women's Trade Union League, theNational Union of Womens' Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and the NationalAnti-Sweating League. She was on the executive committee of the FabianSociety from 1907 and formed the Fabian Womens' Group in 1908. Pember and herfellow members campaigned for equal rights for women and state support formotherhood. In 1909 this group began a four year study into the daily livesand budgets of working class families in Lambeth, London. This study, written byPember Reeves, appeared as Fabian Tract No. 162 Family Life on a Pound aWeek and later as the book Round About a Pound a Week (1913). In thereport she argued for a series of government reforms including child benefit,free health clinics and the provision of school meals.

She was an occasional lecturer at the London School of Economics and PoliticalScience, where her husband was Director. She taught Economics and SocialScience 1912 - 1914 and 1915 - 1916. During the war she served as Directorof the Education and Propaganda Department of the Ministry of Food.


The account books are arranged in alphabetical order of surname.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Reeves, Maud Pember

Other Finding Aids

Printed handlistavailable.

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